I was at my networking group this morning. If I haven’t talked about them before… I am the president of a little group of 14 fabulous, quirky, interesting, feisty people who make my Wednesday mornings worthwhile. And mostly because we’re this fabulously dysfunctional group who have known each other for too long. But without them, I would feel as though my anchor in the ocean was gone. I need to hear Brenda correct someone’s pronunciation of the word ‘realtor’. I need to hear Maggie throw out a terrifying and freaking hysterical sexual innuendo that only 2 out of 5 people get. I want to see Arnie’s shirt he wears every single week to make a point. Someone made fun of the shirt, so he wears it each week in order to show the world he doesn’t care if they think he’s cool. And I love him more for it. But we knew he wasn’t cool.
We ended the meeting early, sharing business and leads. We started telling stories. Maggie told about her daughter who is a world champion in hockey. And for the sake of the people I am speaking about, I am making that up. She is definitely not a hockey champion. But it is a sport. We love to hear her brag about her daughter’s success. As quirky as we all are and with all the bickering, we all sincerely hope for the success and health and happiness of each person at the table.
And for the first time ever, Roseanne spoke up to brag about her daughter. Literally the first time in a year. Apparently, she graduated summa cum laude in molecular and cellular biology. What the fuck is that? She acted like it was cool, so I imagine it might be. But wow! And I say ‘wow’ because I do actually know what it is. Clearly, not because it’s my degree. AND she is 1 in 3 million chosen for this and that. Very impressive!
And I had that moment that makes a mother giggle. I told a story too! But not one about my children’s academic success. That would have been less than amazing. They both get A’s and B’s right now. But I told a different story. I told about how we had gone to a party where a wonderful man they met–had previously been a woman. I think it’s a freaking awesome story. And I want my kids to know how strange and wonderful and interesting the world is. They had no idea the man at the party used to be a woman.
And they asked me how he had gotten to look so much like a man. We talked high level hormones and whether boobies were there anymore. They weren’t. And my youngest, Zoom, works through it in his usual careful way.
“Why would someone want to change from a woman to a man?”
And I answered honestly, “I don’t know why, but maybe he always felt he was supposed to be a man.”
“Well, everybody is different. We all do different things. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s neat this man is able to help others with his story.”
And then he said it. Something I hadn’t expected. I want my kids to be open-minded, to think outside the box. And yes, there’s a double meaning in there. If you can find it, we’ll get along just fine. If not, we can still be friends, but I won’t waste triple meanings on you.
“Must be because men are better than women.”
And in the .004 seconds that followed, I thought the following things.
*He should be able to express his thoughts openly, without judgment. (Puh-lease)
*I should make sure he obviously knows that’s the opposite of reality. (And with fervor)
*Look in the rearview mirror. (We were driving. That wasn’t a double meaning.)
The little shister of a child was beaming from ear to ear. He had the breath of life, big life, big laughter and hilarity flowing from his little smartass mouth. He didn’t believe that. Or maybe he did. But either way, he had thrown it out there because he knew he would get a reaction from me.
Now I realize there’s a lesson here, in right and wrong and sexism and all that. But mostly, I was laughing my ass off. My son was funny, super freaking funny, super antagonistic and super right on the mark.
So leave to all those other kids to be amazing and accomplish amazing things. I love the stories. But me, I am proud when my nine year old can zing me and smile from the back seat, thinking I don’t see. I am proud that neither of my kids reacted too strongly to the news that the world is so different than it first appeared. And I hope they don’t accomplish too much this year, other than making me laugh my ass off. It makes me want to be around them more. And isn’t that what’s it’s all really about?!
To all the people who are brave enough to be different, to walk their path the way they feel is right.
To all the moms with amazing kids.
And to my little shit. I love you more than before. Here’s to the battles of wit we will continue to hone through the years. Can’t beat me yet.